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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 16:87-89 (article 33) 1993

Preliminary screening of cucurbits species for Bemisia tabaci Genn. whitefly resistance

V. Moreno, J.L. Gomez Agulera, C. Guerau de Arellano and L.A. Roig

Plant Cell & Tissue Laboratory, Biotechnology Department, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia. C.Camino de Vera, 14.46022-Valencia (Spain)

The majority of the Spanish productionof early cucurbits dedicated to the foreign markets is being produced in greenhouses in Almeria, Southern Spain. In the last few years, one of the most important problems in the cultue of melon in this area was the yellowing virus disease (1,2,3) transmitted by the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporiarorum W. (4). A systematic investigation of sources for resistance to this disease led to the discovery of resistance in several wild species of Cucumis and Citrullus (1,5) as well as in cucumis melo var agrestis (6).

More recently, a progressive substitution of Trialeurodes by another whitefly Bemisia tabaci Genn. was detected in that geographic area. In 1991 this was responsible for the severe losses in production of melon cultured in the greenhouses of Almeria. This fact seems to be similar to those previously described in the lower desert valleys of California, Arizona and Mexico fall melon production between 1978 and 1991 (7), and in the United Arab Emirates with both melon (8) and watermelon (9).

The acquisition of new sources of resistance to whitefly could represent the first step in the fight against the direct as well indirect damages which whitefly produces. Interestingly, preliminary screening of accessions in agrestis-type melon for resistance to SPWF-P opened up hopeful results (7). In this paper we present the response versus Bemisia of a series of 30 entries belonging to generia Cucumis (including melon, cucumber and wild relatives), Citrullus (watermelon and the wild relative C colocynthis), Lagenaria, Momordica, Trichosanthes, Benincasa, Cucurbita, Ecballium and Luffa, grown in greenhouse in Almeria, Spain.

The enormous population of whitefly in that area permitted us to evaluate the resistance to Bemisia feeding and reproduction in natural conditions. The 30 entries (12-15 plants per accession) of the 18 species were cultivated in the same greenhouse in sandy soil with drip irrigation in the period July-October 1992. Adult population as well as eggs which settled on the leaves were scored and evaluated in a range of 0-5. The asp[ect of the whole plant and production of fruits were also scored. Table 1 shows the results of whitefly attack on the different entries studied.

All the melon cultivars andthe cucumber line were severely affected by whitefly while the agrestis-type melon used in this experiment showed low susceptibility. This observation confirms the results reported by MacCreight (7) in a study made in another geographic area with a series of agrestis-type melons in which he found certain degree of resistance to Bemisia in some entries.

We have also observed a different response within the entries of the wild relatives Cucumis africanus, C. Anguria, C. myriocarpus, C. dipsaceus and C. zeyheri, but all of them showed several degrees of susceptibility to whitefly. On the contrary, the three accessionsof the other wild relative, Cucumis metuliferus, were completely resistant to the prest. Since resistance to other plagues and diseases have been described in this species (see a revision in 10) its behavior versus Bemisia is very interesting and we will try to evaluate and corroborate these results in subsequent experiments.

Citrullus lanatus (watermelon) plants were completely devistated as a consequence of Bemisia attack. The three accessions of their wild relative Citrullus colocynthis were susceptible but not as seriously damaged.

Benincasa hispida was as susceptible as melon, cucumber and watermelon. The two entries of Lagenaria siceraria were affected by whitefly although at a different level. However, the two species of Luffa showed completely different response: L. acutangula was susceptible while L. cylindrica appeared resistant and free of whitefly. Similarly, all the entries of Echballium elaterium, Momordica Balsamina and Trichosanthes cucumerina appeared permanently free of insects throughout the culture cycle in spite of being cultivated in the same greenhouse together with theother starved species and with a very high population of Bemisia in the environment.

Although the real resistance to Bemisia should be confirmed in additional cycles of culture and under different culture conditions, these results can be useful for successive breeding programs. The lesser susceptibility of some lines of C. Melo var. agrestis (7) (see also table 1) could be relevant since, in this case, there is not any cross ability barriers with the cultivars of melon. On the other hand, toprofit from the sources of resistance present in the wild relative Cucumis metuliferus or in the genera Ecballium, Luffa, Momordica or Trichosanthes, it would be necessary to apply a program of somatic hybridization by protoplast fusion. At present, our group is carrying out a wide program of this kind doing symmetric as well as asymmetric hybridizations between melon as recipient species and several of the wild species as donors of desirable genes.

Acknowledgments: The authors express their appreciation to CICYT (Comision Interministerial de Ciencia y Tecnologia, Ministry of Education and Science, Spanish Government for financial support (Project BIO89-0446) and to Dr. F. Garcia-Mari (Dept. of Entomology, U.P.V.) for their technical assistance in the analysis of whitefly population.

Table 1. Susceptibility of different cucurbits to the whitefly Bemisia tabacci.

   
Whitefly Population
Species and line
Source and accession
Adults
Eggs
Cucumis melo 'Cant. Charentais'
Clause
+++++
+++++
Cucumis melo 'Valenciano Tardio'
Intersemillas
+++++
+++++
Cucumis melo 'Tokio Early'
J. Abadia (CEBAS, Murcia)
+++++
+++++
Cucumis sativus 'Marketer'
Clause
+++++
+++++
Cucumis melo var. agrestis
Gatersleben CuM 190/1982
+
+
Cucumis africanus L5
IVT Gbnr. 1984
++
-
Cucumis anguria var. longipes L1
Pretoria, 71113
+
+
Cucumis anguria var. longipes L3
IVT Gbnr 1790
+++
+++
Cucumis dipsaceus
Gatersleben Ha 408/1981
++
++
Cucumis metuliferus L1
IVT Gbnr. 1802
-
-
Cucumis metuliferus L4
Gatersleben CuC 16/1981
-
-
Cucumis metuliferus L3
Pretoria, 78263
-
-
Cucumis myriocarpus L1
IVT Gbnr. 1079
+++++
+++++
Cucjmis myriocarpus L2
IVT. Gbnr. 1051
++
++
Cucumis zeyheri L1
IVT Gbnr 1786
++++
+++
Cucumis zeyheri L2
IVT Gbnr. 1785
++
+
Cucumis zeyheri L3
Pretoria, 77048
+++
++
Citrullus lanatus 'Dulce Maravilla'
F1 Hybrid Sluis&Groot
+++++
+++++
Citrullus colocynthis 'Rhodes'
Edisto R-309
++
+++
Citrullus colocynthis 'Argelia'
UVP-87 (Argelia)
+
+++
Citrullus colocynthis 'Canarias'
UVP-85 (Gran Canaria)
++
+++
Benincasa hispida
Gatersleben BEN 14/1982
+++++
+++++
Cucurbita martinezii
INRA, Montfavet, 1981
++
-
Echballium elaterium
UPV-EE87
-
-
Lagenaria siceraria 'Murcia'
UPV.ETSIA, 87
++++
++++
Lagenaria siceraria 'Gatersleben'
Gatersleben LAG 41/1986
++
+++
Luffa cylindrica
Gatersleben LUF 25/1985
-
-
Luffa acutangula
Gatersleben LUF 19/1982
+++
+++
Momordica balsamina
Gatersleben MOM 16/1985
-
-
Trichosanthes cucumerina
Gatersleben TCH 4/1982
-
-

EDISTO: Clemson University, College of Agricultural Sciences, S.C. Agricultural Experiment Station/EDISTO Branch Station, P.O. Box 247, Blackville, South Carolina 29817, USA

GATERSLEBEN:Zentralinstitut fur Genetik und Kulturpfloanzenforschung (ZIGuK), DDR-4325 Gatersleben.

INRA-Montfavet: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Station d'Amelioration des Plantes Maraicheres, Domaine Sainte Maurice, 8410, Montfavet, France.

INTERSEMILLAS: Intersemillas, S.A. Quart de Poblet, Valencia, Spain.

CLAUSE: Clause Graines d'Elite.91221 Bretigny-sur-orge. Cedex. France.

CEBAS: Centro de Edafologia y Biologia Aplicada del Segura, Murcia, Spain.

SLUIS & GROOT: Sluis & Groot, Almeria, Spain.

UPV: Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, 46022-Valencia, Spain.

I.V.T: Institute for Horticultural Plant Breeding, P.O. Box 16, 6700 AA, Wangeningen, The Netherlands

PRETORIA: Department of Agricultural Economics and Marketing, Directorate of plant and Seed Control (DPSC), Private Bag X179, Pretoria 0001, South Africa

Literature Cited

  1. Esteva, J., F. Nuez and J. Cuatero. 1988. Resistance to yellowing disease i wild relatives of muskmelon. Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rpt. 11:52-53.
  2. Esteva, J., F. Nuez, and M.L. Gomez-Guillamon. 1989. Resistance to yellowing disease in muskmelon. Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rpt. 12:44-45.
  3. Jorda, C. and A. Alfar. 1989. El amarilleamiento del melon: su diagnosis. Documentos de trabajo del V Congreso Nacional de Fitopatologia. Seccion: Etiologia y Epidemiologia (communicaciones). Badajoz, 17-20 Octubre 1989.
  4. Soria, C. and M.L. gomez-Guillamon. 1989. Transmission of the causal agent of muskmelon yellowing disease . Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rpt. 12:40-41.
  5. Soria, C. M.L. gomez-Guillamon, J. Esteva, and F. Nuez. 1989. Search for sources of resistance to yellowing disease in Cucumis spp. Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rpt. 14:59-60.
  6. Nuez, F. J. Esteva, C. Soria, and M.L. Gomez-Guillamon. 1991/ Search for sources of resistance to a whitefly transmitted yellowing disease in melon. Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rpt. 14:59-60.
  7. McCreight, J.D. 1992. Preliminary screening of melons for sweetpotato whitefly resistance, Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rpt. 15:59-61.
  8. Hassan, A.A., H.H. Al-Masri, U.A. Obaji, M.S. Wafi, N.E. Quronfilah, and M.A. Al-Rays. 1991a. Screening of domestic and wild Cucumis melo germplasm for resistance to the yellowing-stunting disorder in the United Arab Emerates. Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rpt. 14: 56-58.
  9. Hassan, A.A., N.E. Quronfilah, U.A. Obaji, M.A. Al-Rays and M.S. Wafi. 1991b. Screening of Domestic and wild Citrullus germplasm for resistance to the yellow-stunting disorder in the United Arab Emerates. Cucurbit Genet. Coop. Rpt. 14: 98-101.
  10. Moreno V. and L.A. Roig. 1990. Somaclonal variation in Cucurbits. In: "Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry". Bajaj YPS (ed.). Vol 11. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 435-464.
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Page citation: Wehner, T.C., Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative;
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send questions to T.C. Wehner; last revised on 15 December, 2009